Lexington Market, Baltimore (2014-present)

Lexington Market, Baltimore (2014-present)

Since its establishment in 1782, Lexington Market has served the residents of Baltimore as the city’s principal public market.  Once a primary location where a diverse cross section of residents bought their staple grocery items, the Market’s facilities do not serve merchants or customers well and there are serious problems with the building’s structure and systems.  The mix of merchandise has become focused on fast and unhealthy foods while missing desired offerings such as baked goods, coffee, and cheeses.  Recognizing these and other challenges, the board of directors of Lexington Market, Inc. launched the Transform Lexington Market Initiative to make the Market into a more aesthetically pleasing and commercially successful place. 

MVI was selected to lead a team of architects, engineers and planners in developing a master plan that would guide redevelopment and investment into the facility.  

The team conducted extensive market research, engaged a broad range of stakeholders including Market merchants, customers, and downtown leaders, applied the experiences of other public markets around the country, and creatively addressed new opportunities and challenges.  The MVI team sought to maintain the authentic, core elements that have made Lexington Market a beloved Baltimore institution for more than two centuries, while addressing the Market’s deficiencies in a strategic and cost effective manner. 

The master plan clarified the Market’s mission, proposed an enhanced mix of tenants and new programs, identified innovations and partnerships, offered a schematic design along with an operations and management plan, created an operating pro forma, identified potential development financing, and analyzed the potential economic impact following implementation.

The board of Lexington Market, Inc. adopted the master plan in January 2015 and subsequently hired MVI to help guide the implementation process.  In this role, MVI wrote the RFPs for design and construction management services and helped select the preferred contractors, created three board committees to oversee implementation, developed a communications strategy, identified new staff positions and assisted with recruitment, and supported the financing.  In weekly meetings with the Market’s Executive Director, MVI offers guidance to help “keep the train running” and ensure the Transform Lexington Market Initiative is successful.